There’s never been a better time to strengthen your immune system. The good news? Your daily habits can play a significant role in maintaining healthy immunity.
Simply put: “Some things you do enhance your natural defenses, while others depress your immune function,” says Neil Schachter, MD, Maurice Hexter professor of medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York City and author of The Good Doctor’s Guide to Colds and Flu (Updated Edition).
To understand how your habits can boost your immune functioning, know that there are two basic types of immunity in the body: innate and acquired. The innate immune system is your body’s first line of defense.
“When an infectious agent, such as a bacteria or virus, attempts to invade your body, it immediately confronts the innate immune system, which has several components, each of which acts to restrict access to the body,” Dr. Schachter says.